We round the corner and the hulking form of York Minster looms into view, completely dominating the skyline of the city of York. York Minster is said to be the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and I’m inclined to believe this particular factoid after visiting the cathedral on our recent trip to York.
I have now visited a significant number of great churches around the world but I have to say that York Minster is one of the most impressive, and not only because of its mammoth size. It also houses some of the most amazing stained glass windows, some of which date to the 12th century. Although the 76-foot East Window is the largest medieval stained glass window in the world, my personal favourite was the West Window and the ‘Heart of Yorkshire.’
While on the guided tour of the cathedral we learned about these funny looking guys – rather interesting representations of the kings of England from William the Conqueror to Henry VI. They are some seriously sinister looking statues!
By far the most impressive part of York Minster for me was the Chapter House, with its glorious star-like ceiling and richly coloured stained glass windows. The Chapter House was built between 1260-1286 and house some of the most interesting carvings in the Minster.
The Minster is holding a number of great events in honour of York 800, including the 8 Wonders of York Minster, so 2012 is the year to visit. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the massive 5 year restoration project in action, the largest conservation and restoration project of its kind in the UK. If you’re a museum geek like me that’s pretty exciting!
It’s easy to see why York Minster is one of the top ‘must-see’ attractions in York. It is absolutely astounding that such a building could have been constructed so long ago, and even more astounding that it continues to stand today.
Monday – Saturday 9am-5pm
Seniors (65+) or Students £8
Alternatively, entrance to York Minster is included in the York Pass
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It’s a beautiful church and so peaceful too. The stained glass windows are so lovely.